Birding in Costa Rica – Dave Eddy

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Former CBBC Member and avid birder, Dave Eddy has sent us a report and some stunning photos from his recent trip to Costa Rica.

I flew from Gatwick to Liberia. Stayed in hotel RIU GUANACASTE in the Guanacaste region (NW Costa Rica). There were trees on the beach so lots of birds in that area, Baltimore Oriole, Hoffmann’s Woodpecker, Tanagers and Trogons, Black Hawk, Grey Hawk, Black Vulture (different to the one we get in Europe) and Turkey Vulture. On the sea there were Brown Pelican, Brown Booby, Royal Terns and hunting Ospreys. All these birds could be seen every day.

The area I stayed is classed as Dry Forest so to see different birds you must go to the Rain Forest, so I hired a guide for this. The guide I used was Javier Perez Costa Rica North West, a charming young man, an environmentalist who cares about what he is doing, and is very good at it. However be warned the price of a good guide here is very steep (it’s geared up for Americans).For a single person $380 (£290) for 2 persons $220 (£167) for 3 persons (£129). I managed to get 2 people to share on 3 of my 4 trips. In the  rain forest it does what it says on the label, it chucks it down, but in between the heavy showers the birding is brilliant, Toucans, Honeycreepers, Manakins, and different Tanagers and Hummingbirds to what you get back at the hotel.

The Blue grey Tanager, Collared Aracari and the Passerini’s Tanager were seen at Arenal. The woodpeckers were around the hotel, and Hoffmann’s Woodpeckers were everywhere.

The bird everyone wants to see in Costa Rica is the Resplendent Quetzal, the nearest place to where it MAY be found is Monta Verde which was 3 hrs drive from my hotel (then 3 hrs back). If you want to see this bird then I suggest you stay at an hotel well south of where I was staying.


The very rare Jaribu and the Boat billed Heron were seen on a boat trip. The Toucan, Barred Antshrike and White necked Jacobin (a Hummingbird) were seen at Bijagua area (rain forest).